Relaxation is a state where you feel calm and able to manage day-to-day life. If you have a busy life, this can be difficult. Relaxation has many mental and physical health benefits, and the techniques can be practised almost anywhere.
What is relaxation?
How can relaxation improve your mental health?
- lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate
- reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- improving concentration and mood
- reducing fatigue
- reducing anger and frustration
- boosting confidence to handle problems.
What are some relaxation techniques?
Relaxation techniques focus on muscle relaxation or breathing. An example is progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense then relax different muscle groups.
Other techniques include:
- visualisation, where you create a mental image of a calming place for you
- deep breathing, where you refocus your attention on your breathing
Ways to include relaxation in your life
Find a relaxation technique that works for you and make it part of your daily routine, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes a day.
If you’re interested in mindfulness, you may want to use mindfulness colouring books to help you focus on the present moment and take your mind off other things. This includes an aspect of art therapy, another relaxation technique.
Keeping a healthy work life balance helps with relaxation and managing stress.
Where to get help if relaxation is not helping
If you’re finding it difficult to relax, talk to your doctor about a referral to a mental health professional who can help you develop techniques for relaxation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan. Visit beyondblue and ReachOut.com for information on other relaxation techniques.
Not sure what to do next?
If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirect’s symptom checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Last reviewed: September 2017